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It Could Only Happen

Daocheng: Schindler's List

It could only happen on a Saturday night in Pàng dàjiě, the Fat Older Sister Restaurant.

On the flat-screen in the corner Chinese WWII dramas play out, while in the next room the sounds of electronica + Tibetan warbling belted out from a cheap smartphone battles with seven raucous guests seated in the round, while here in the main room a gent in standard issue (for these parts) PLA pixellated camouflage intently watches Schindler’s list on a phablet, looks up, beckons me over and disappears back into the screen.

Five dishes to burn lips scarred from the dry, hi-alt air and one to soothe.